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Beer and other festivals in Hobart

27 November 2011 No Comment

Beerfest - HobartAs Tasmania’s reputation as Australia’s food source of choice continues to grow, along comes Beerfest to put another feather in the island’s cap.

Beerfest has been running for some years now, nobody can remember how long (for obvious reasons), and it has been growing in popularity all the time. Held over a Friday and Saturday night this year, the fest claims to be Australia’s biggest with a beer theme.

For an entry fee of $30 you get a small plastic tasting cup and 10 tasting tickets. Entry is $20 for the non-tasting designated driver. I have to say there was quite a gap between the size of the cup and the amount of beer that was actually poured per tasting. In that regard I thought the price, in hindsight, was a bit steep. I would have rather received a smaller cup and not got my hopes up.

The atmosphere is convivial and the locals really get into the spirit. This was my first year at the Beerfest and I was surprised to see lots of people in costumes, mostly pseudo Oktoberfest gear that would horrify the Germans, and funny hats. I wish I’d known so I could have been part of the fun.

On one side of the venue there was live music as well, although the band we saw wasn’t so much live as “making a few noises over recordings”. The crowd seemed to love it despite this. Beer makes everything OK.

The large indoor area at the wharf means that you can stay warm and dry if that is your thing. It is here where all the beer and food stalls are set up. Naturally there’s lots of local beer to taste from large and smaller boutique brewers and added to that were a few European brands including German and Austrian for the fake Lederhosen wearers.

On the other side of the venue a large deck area with plenty of seating and cover (if required) meant that it was possible to actually have a conversation with friends while the band played on out of earshot. Brilliant!

I have to say I was surprised at how good the atmosphere was and how well behaved everyone was. There’s plenty of food available at the Beerfest, but it is of the festival variety, like bratwurst and sauerkraut in a bun and mini pizzas. If you fancy something more substantial beforehand, you are in the right place.

Being in the wharf precinct, it is only a stone’s throw from the Salamanca Place and Constitution Dock restaurants.

If you head north along the dock you’ll find an amazing array of eateries to choose from. My favourite Chinese restaurant, as unfashionable as that may sound, is located underneath the Zero Davey hotel way at the other end of the docks. It’s not your average Aussie Chinese fare. My tip, get to this restaurant while it is relatively “undiscovered”. The food is great and the prices are very reasonable.

Tasmanian Beerfest is held at the Princes Wharf No 1 near Salamanca. This recently renovated venue on the waterfront caters for many events during the year including the “Taste of Tasmania Festival”, various home shows and corporate events. In short, be sure to pop by whenever you visit Hobart because you never know what might be on.

Keep up to date with the Tasmanian Beerfest via their website

David Moore lives and works in the Huon Valley. He runs a computer business, I Hate My PC and writes computer/tech stuff for a couple of online magazines but his real passion is comedy. Keep an eye out for him doing “stand up” somewhere near you soon!
Image: jordi puig via Flickr

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